An Apple expert has replicated a tablet concept from 1994 to try to discredit the assertion made by Samsung that the concept device is prior art that should invalidate Apple’s design patent on the iPad.
On Friday, Peter Bressler was called to the stand by Apple bringing with him a replica of the Fidler tablet. The Fidler tablet was a project by Roger Fidler for the Knight Ridder company’s Information Design Lab.
“This is a duplicate that I had created of Mr. Fidler’s original tablet, the industrial designer revealed to the court.
He added that he “went to Missouri with a model maker laser scanner and digitized the surface of [the Fidler tablet”, photographed them, measured them so that we could fabricated it to be exactly the same.”
He said that the replica is an exact copy “right down to the scratches and the paint.”
Bressler said that there are major differences between the Fidler tablet and the iPad. This includes the glass covering and the display of the Fidler.
Samsung has previously mentioned the Fidler tablet and the Windows-powered Compaq TC1000 tablet from 2004 to argue that the iPad is not at all that unique design-wise.
Apple has a design patent for the iPad which covers its appearance. This includes its rounded corners and the rectangle shape of the tablet. Samsung has argued in the past that Apple’s design patent should be invalidated.
Samsung has also said that the company has been designing tablets, including the Galaxy Tab 10.1, even before the iPad came out in 2010.
In a previous testimony, a Samsung chief designer presented an email thread which includes drawings of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 dated before the iPad was launched by Apple.
Jin Soo Kim also said then that tablets made by the company have flat fronts because that is the practical surface for the front of the device. He said that curved glass would be more expensive and hard to make and would make the screen of the device more prone to mis-registering touch input.
The bezel, he said is there to protect the device that is why it is included in the design. He said Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, a device Apple claims to have infringed on their design patent, has a screen size that way because that size is the most cost-effective size to cut glass from.